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Young Hip

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

A condition caused by the bones of the hip causing pressure, pinching or friction on the tissues of the joint.

This pinching pressure usually occurs when the head or neck of the femur contacts the rim of the socket during movements of the hip.

This can cause irritation or damage to the cartilage rim (labrum) surrounding the socket, and /or the cartilage covering the bony surfaces. The pain is usually felt in the groin. It can be associated with clicking or catching within the joint.

FAI is usually defined as a CAM or pincer impingement.

CAM deformity occurs at the head (ball) or neck of the femur causing abnormal contact of the socket.

Pincer deformity usually occurs due to over coverage of the socket on the ball, possibly due to a dysplasia (altered position of the socket).

Management of FAI and Labral Tears

Identification of these problems can often be difficult and would likely require a specialist opinion and further investigation via x-rays, magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) and clinical assessment.

There are non-invasive and invasive treatment options and the best course of action should be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional to plan individual’s management programs.

Generally a commitment to maintaining good hip strength and weight loss to ensure that individuals are not overweight can go a long way in managing symptoms from FAI and Labral pathology. Physiotherapy is often the mainstay of treatment before moving through more invasive treatment options.

When to seek advice

If you have severe pain affecting your sleep and daily activities, if you have had a serious injury or you have symptoms that have not improved with self-management, you should contact your GP practice. If you have a red, hot swollen joint please ring 111